A lead magnet is an exclusive piece of content that turns your audience into subscribers and customers. It’s like the free samples they give you at grocery stores (can we please bring those back?!). Think of it as a sneak peek at what’s to come if someone buys your products.
For example, you could create an ebook PDF that you give away for free. Or, you could film a special training that people can only access by opting-in to your lead magnet.
The key to a successful lead magnet is putting it behind an opt-in. This requires your audience to give you their email address in return for access. Your lead magnet needs to have so much value packed inside of it that your customer avatar has trouble ignoring it.
Why do you need a lead magnet?
Rather than using generic social media marketing strategies, an effective lead magnet helps you understand who your target audience is and learn more about them. This helps you create better marketing strategies that actually address audience needs, and gives you better overall leads.
Where does it fit into the customer journey?
Lead magnets fit into the Subscribe Stage of the Customer Value Journey.
This is the stage where they’re already aware and engaging with your company, but now it’s time to take the next step in your relationship. You know when you meet a friend’s friend and realize you have a lot in common with them and ask for their number to stay in touch?
It’s like that. Your lead knows you’re cool and they want to hang out again.
Instead of just asking them to opt-in to your email list without giving them anything in return, you incentivize them by providing this “valuable” lead magead magnets still work?
Make no mistake about it—lead magnets are NOT going away. And nor should they: when done right they’re an extremely valuable asset for marketers and users. But visitors aren’t as susceptible as they once were. … Evergreen lead magnets might not be a good fit for your business.
How long should lead magnet to be?
According to research from Medium, the optimal length of a long-form post is a read-time of seven minutes, which according to some estimates is a word count just over 2000. While this research applies to blog post content, the formula works perfectly for a list style lead magnet.
Why is Lead Magnets Important in Marketing?
In marketing, we have goals such as brand awareness, building trust, increasing brand engagement, and establishing credibility, but these are harder to measure.
Lead magnets are important because they form a bridge from EXPOSURE or AWARENESS, to TRUST and LIKABILITY. They give people a stepping stone to stand on and decide if they want more of you before you expect them to open their wallets.
And the higher your price tag is the more steps you may need. You may need a free tip sheet that then gets their email and then in a series of emails you send helpful content that has a link at the bottom to download your research paper or eBook.
How to Create a Lead Magnet in 5 Steps
You can always tell when a marketer didn’t put much thought or effort into their Lead Magnet. They may target anyone with a pulse or their presentation overall may be lacking.
To be effective, your Lead Magnet needs to have a purpose. That all starts with who your Lead Magnet is serving.
Step 1 – Choose Your Buyer Persona
The biggest mistake marketers make with their Lead Magnets is trying to attract too many people. You want to do the exact opposite.
Your Lead Magnet needs to be ultra-specific to the people you want it to attract. If your Lead Magnet isn’t relevant to the wants and needs of your buyer persona, they aren’t going to download it.
Most companies have multiple buyer personas, but each Lead Magnet should only target one of them.
Don’t worry about deciding which buyer persona is the perfect one to start with – eventually you should have Lead Magnets for ALL of them, so pick the one that you can provide the most value to now and move on to the next step.
Step 2 – Identify Your Value Proposition
Once you’ve decided which prospects you want to target, you have to give them a compelling reason to download your Lead Magnet. The amount of leads your Lead Magnet generates for you will be directly tied to the promise you make to those prospective leads.
Step 3 – Give Your Lead Magnet a Name
Now that you know what you’re offering and to whom, giving your Lead Magnet a name will be easy. Your title is essentially a headline for your value proposition that appeals to your buyer persona.
Similar to crafting an eye-catching headline for a marketing email or blog post, the title of your Lead Magnet is bound to make a drastic difference in its conversion rate.
If you’re new to writing headlines, read this article to learn five basic strategies for writing irresistible headlines.
Step 4 – Choose What Type of Lead Magnet You Will Offer
By now, you probably have a good idea of what type of Lead Magnet you are going to offer. However, you often have several options to choose from that could effectively deliver your value proposition.
Here are some things to keep in mind and to help you decide:
Keep it simple – An overly-complicated Lead Magnet defeats the purpose. If no one knows what you’re saying, they won’t be able to appreciate it. Keep it simple, concise, and packed with value.
Focus on your strengths – Are you a great writer? An eBook will probably be your best format. Not so great at writing, but comfortable on camera? Go with video, instead.
Prioritize rapid consumption – You want to solve your buyer persona’s problem as quickly as possible. This gives them a quick win (which you did promise) and moves them down your funnel quicker. Choose a format that allows fast delivery and consumption.
Step 5 – Create Your Lead Magnet
The strategic work is over, but you still have to put in the work to create your Lead Magnet.
As you work on your Lead Magnet, remember who it’s for and the value proposition you’re promising to them. If you keep those two things in mind, the process will be straightforward.
Tools to Use to Create Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are not created out of some special magnetic app that you must use. You can use Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to create your item and then save it as a pdf (most lead magnets are saved as pdf for easy delivery and to preserve your formatting).
You can have someone work their magic on the document to make it a visual wonder in Adobe Illustrator, or even have a professionally produced video piece to use…but you don’t have to.
Keep it simple but make it look professional and VALUABLE! A bunch of text thrown on an image that looks like a poster in the breakroom of the post office is not going to cut it. If you do not have an eye for design, either pay someone to lay out a template for you or use one of these tools:
Beacon is a template tool for creating guides, tip sheets and more. The monthly cost is steep ($30) but it might be worth it for a few months to build your inventory.
Canva is another tool that you could use to layout a great template and then plug your content into it.
Zoom Webinars is a great platform to host your webinars.
Tried-and-True Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples
Before I share each lead magnet example, let’s quickly review the conversion path that turns website visitors into leads — and the role email marketing plays in this process:
Call to Action (CTA): This is the button that blog readers and website visitors click to access the resource you’re offering through this lead magnet.
Landing Page: This is where your lead magnet captures information provided by the visitor. After visitors click the CTA, they’re brought to a landing page where they’ll fill out a form with their name, email address, and any other relevant information you’ve deemed important.
Thank You Page: The visitor is then led to a page where they can download your resource, officially adding them to your mailing list.
Kickback Email: The kickback email is your follow-up message to the lead a short time after the exchange takes place. This email marketing campaign starts a conversation with the lead to keep them engaged with your business.
1. The Mini Ebook
The mini ebook is perfect when you have a series of blog posts about a related subject. For example, if you were running an online pet store, you might pick out the following five posts from your blog to combine into an ebook:
The 5 pieces of equipment that every puppy needs
The ultimate guide to house training a puppy
The first 6 months: what you can expect from your new puppy
The puppy nutrition guide: what your dog should and shouldn’t eat
The 7 things you should never do when training a puppy
These posts could be logically compiled into an ebook entitled “The Puppy
Planner: Everything you need to know to prepare for your first puppy.”
This type of ebook is effective because you’re making the lives of your website visitors easier — which should be the goal of any lead magnet you create. Rather than asking them to find all this content one article at a time, you’re packing it up into a convenient bundle that they can keep and refer back to.
The most successful lead magnets offer an irresistible and instant reward to your visitors, and the mini ebook checks off that box.
2. The Ultimate Guide
If you’re in an industry that is already well established, it can be hard to come up with original content. Sometimes other people have covered a subject in such detail that it’s almost impossible to add extra value. In this situation, I’d recommend producing an Ultimate Guide.
An Ultimate Guide is a comprehensive collection of the best articles about a particular subject. The main difference between this and a mini ebook? You’re not recycling posts from your own blog; you’re linking directly to other sites. It’s important that you don’t copy and paste someone else’s content into your guide, but rather include a link back to the original article.
3. The Bonus Pack
Offering additional content that is not included in the original blog post is the perfect way to reward readers who opt-in.
If you have an article titled “The 5 Pieces of Equipment That Every Puppy Needs,” you could offer readers an exclusive PDF with a few more pieces of equipment that may have come on the market since the original post was published.
4. The Resource Guide
If you’ve already written a strategic blog post, consider offering a Resource Guide as a lead magnet. A Resource Guide is a collection of things that help people achieve results.
The Resource Guide could be as simple as list of five books or apps that you recommend. Since it’s easier to buy a tool to get results than it is to actually implement a strategy, your readers will love this.
What resources could you recommend to a potential customer that would help them to achieve better results?
5. The Checklist
Instructional blog posts are just waiting to be turned into Checklists — and they couldn’t be easier to create. Just take your blog post and simplify it into a series of bullet points.
Next, remove any points that don’t contain actionable advice. Split the list into several numbered steps to make the outcome more achievable.
Bonus points if you offer the Checklist in a printable format so people can physically tick-off each item on the list as they complete it. This sense of achievement is a great feeling that people will attribute back to your business.
6. The Workbook
The Workbook is an incredibly effective lead magnet, especially for service businesses. In its simplest form, a Workbook is a download-and-complete resource that helps people to apply the principles of your blog post to their own business.
Neil Patel offers this highly practical Workbook for writing blog posts that rank in Google. It includes exercises like planning your blog post structure and experimenting with different introductions.
Patel’s example is brilliantly simple in its execution. He keeps the design to a minimum so people won’t worry about their ink running out when printing and he has left plenty of room for people to write their answers.
The goal of a Workbook is to have the participant learn by doing. As the teacher in this scenario, you’re positioning your business as an expert on the subject matter at hand.
With that in mind, you’ll want to choose the exercises included in your Workbook carefully. Tease information out of the participant gradually, so that at the end of the Workbook they can combine their short answers into a comprehensive piece of work. In Patel’s case, the participant would’ve had a complete blog post written by the time they finished.
A Workbook is the perfect stepping stone to your premium products or services, so be sure to include a strong call to action at the end that clearly tells the participant how you can help them to apply their new found knowledge.
Is there a particular subject that you could help you audience understand more clearly with a Workbook?
7. The Case Study
Case studies depend on very specific types of content, but the successes they reveal can move a customer to take action.
If you have a blog post or interview clip that spotlights a real customer you’ve worked with, package this content into a written case study that expands on the need the client came in with and the metrics of their success. Then, gate this case study behind a form that website visitors can fill out with their name and email address to access the study.
Keep in mind you’ll need permission and approval from the client on which you’d like to create a case study. Once you receive this approval, however, its a perfect lead magnet to host on content that tells your readers about a success your customer had under your guidance.
Webinars don’t have to be long, collaborative presentations with multiple colleagues or partners. If you’ve got a blog post that merely touches on a subject you’re an expert in, use this blog post as a springboard into a live talk hosted by you and a coworker.
If you’ve written an article about Europe’s recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for example, convert this article into a Prezi or PowerPoint. Present this document through a live video conferencing platform, using helpful visuals and, of course, your own voice to provide insight that listener wouldn’t have gotten from just the blog post.
What makes this a lead magnet? You’ll invite people to listen using their email address, and even solicit questions that allow you to score those who speak up during the webinar as potentially more qualified leads to follow up with after the webinar ends.
Make sure you’re clear on the date of the webinar when promoting it through your CTA, and feel free to host it more than once if initial turnouts don’t yield the best attendance.
10. The Cheat Sheet
If your blog post covers a complicated topic, it might be a good idea to offer readers a one-page sheet that they can refer back to when they need to refresh their memory. This could be a glossary of terms or just a brief summary of some key points.
This type of download-and-keep resource takes the pressure off readers so they don’t have to memorize or implement your strategy immediately. It does compel readers to opt-in to your list though which is the ultimate aim.
11. The Guestbook
Guest blogging is a terrific a backlink strategy, but those who use it typically agree to not republish that particular post on their own blog. This is fairly common, as Google punishes sites that duplicate content onto two publications — it’s in nobody’s interest to do so.
What you can do, though, is compile all these guest posts into a book format. Since the content will be gated behind a lead capture form, there is no risk of Google flagging it as duplicate content and you get to squeeze a little bit of extra value from that content you worked so hard on?
There you have it, nine ways to recycle your existing content into lead-generating assets. You already have the blog content — all you have to do is implement lead magnets and an email campaign that gets them into your contact database.
How to drive traffic to lead magnet?
7 Easy Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Lead Magnets
- Entrance pop-up
Capture your website visitors’ attention (and intrigue) when the first thing they see on your site is an offer for something free that will benefit them and/or their business! It’s a great way to introduce the purpose and personality of your brand.
- Website banner
Once a potential customer is on your site, you want to lead them to a place on your site that will convert them from casual visitor to excited email subscriber.
Using the top of your website to promote a specific lead magnet is a great way to drive traffic without imposing too much on the website visitor.
This is at the top of all pages on our website to people can at any point in time sign up for receive our freebies.
It’s not too big or obnoxious, just a small reminder at the top of the page.
- Social media
Of course social media is a no brainer way to drive traffic to your lead magnets!
There’s a wide variety of ways you can promote your lead magnet on social media:
- Facebook business page
- Facebook personal page
- Facebook groups
- Facebook live
- Instagram stories
Wherever your brand (or you!) exists on social media, your lead magnet should be prominently placed and promoted.
- Email signature
Adding a link to your lead magnet in your email signature is a great way to subtly introduce your lead magnet into every business conversation you have.
It’s severely underutilized way to drive traffic to your lead magnets but something that everyone should implement!
After a few back-and-forth messages with a potential customer, they will be compelled to click on the link to learn just how incredible your lead magnet is.
- Paid advertising
Now, I know what you’re thinking: why pay money to advertise something that’s free?
Well, my friend, this is long game thinking.
Advertising something free for potential customers automatically gets you on their good side, and gives you a much better chance to win them over with your paid products in the future.
You can easily set up Facebook ads for people who have been to your website but haven’t opted in to your list yet and drive them to sign up for one of your lead magnets.
- Podcast interviews / guest posts
Podcast interviews and guest posts are super effective places to mention drive traffic to your lead magnets.
Getting in front of other people’s audiences will help increase brand trust and knowledge of you a lot faster than any other marketing tactic.
Think of interviews and guest posts as a way to continue the conversation and reel potential new customers in with a free incentive.
- Word of Mouth
Yep, that’s right–the easiest, most painless way to get the word out about your business is good, old-fashioned word of mouth! Tell your friends, potential clients, and people you meet in networking to convert real-life connections to website visitors!
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your business and can be one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your lead magnets.
Getting other people to talk about your lead magnets and refer people your way makes your job much easier. It’s like having your own marketing team promoting your stuff without you having to lift a finger!Follow me on Social Media